Eleven U.S. Marines and a Navy medic were killed Thursday when two bombs exploded in a coordinated attack in Kabul, Afghanistan, one outside a main gate at the Hamid Karzai International Airport, the other at a nearby hotel.
The Pentagon confirmed the apparent attack resulted in “a number of U.S. and civilian casualties.” It was not immediately known how many civilians died.
A “number of U.S. service members were killed,” Pentagon spokesman John Kirby said. “A number of others are being treated for wounds. We also know that a number of Afghans fell victim to this heinous attack.”
Before Thursday, the last U.S. military combat deaths in Afghanistan were in February 2020.
The explosions came as the U.S. and other nations were airlifting thousands of people out of Afghanistan. Nations have until Tuesday to get everyone out.
The Pentagon confirmed the airport bombing in a tweet at 9:44 a.m. EDT Thursday. The first explosion took place at Abbey Gate, one of the main entryways to the airport, and the second near the Baron Hotel, a gathering point for Afghans seeking entry to the U.K.
The bombings were suspected to be the work of ISIS-K, the Islamic State of Khorasan, a group of terrorists who are enemies of the Taliban. In a tweet, the Taliban condemned the bombings.
The State Department warned Americans Wednesday night to stay away from the airport and cited Abbey Gate, East Gate and North Gate as potential targets of attack. Officials from the U.K. and Australian officials issued similar alerts.
The Pentagon said all airport gates have been closed.
This is a developing story, click here for more updates.
SOURCE USA TODAY Network reporting and research; Associated Press
CONTRIBUTING Joey Garrison, Tom Vanden Brook, Javier Zarracina, and Shawn Sullivan, USA Today.